At The Kitchen Table

SarahMasonPhotography_019.jpeg

This week, Olive sat in her shiny new high chair and took her first chomps of avocado, carrot and sweet potato. Although we don’t want to wish time away, this is one thing me and Suzi have been really looking forward to. Sitting down at the table in the kitchen and eating our food together.

I’ve been creating a body of work ‘At the Kitchen Table’. I’m not sure yet if it might be a chapter in our book or an exhibition in the future, i just felt it was the right time to start talking about it, and to ask you for your stories, and if you’d like to take part?

It all started a couple of years ago when I did a shoot with jeweller Toby Cotterill and he told me about the history of his work bench. His Dad is a furniture maker, and he made their childhood kitchen table. It became the centre of their family life, as it is to many families. But this kitchen table evolved, and after some alterations, Toby now uses this table as his work bench.

download (17).jpeg

It felt very poignant as my Mum and Dad were just moving out of our childhood home, and I remembered all those times sitting at the table. We had a set time for tea every night. While Mum cooked, me and my sister laid the table and Dad hovered. After tea, we’d clear the plates, and I’d sit down back at the table to do my homework, and Dad would read the paper.

download (16).jpeg

Since doing our family shoots, I’ve noticed how many photos I take of families there. It is so central to life. We usually start shoots at the table, having a chat and a cup of tea before the camera comes out of my bag. It’s good to see the family interacting around the space. I guess I’ve become a bit fascinated by them, these places where we’re nourished both in food and conversation. Since chatting about it on Instagram, I’ve had people sending me stories of their kitchen tables. A common theme are the rules of the table. No phones, all sitting down at the same time to eat, chatting about our days. Family feasts where spare tables are brought down from the loft. This reminded me of our own family get togethers at Grandma & Grandad’s house. The adults would sit at the big table, and the children would sit at the kiddies table. As the oldest cousin, I was still sitting at the kiddies table until I was around 18!

I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to be involved in my project (Yorkshire area for now but there may be a table tour later this year!). What do you use your table for? Is it a place you sit and watch the world go by? Have your tea, work, read? Plan big adventures? Play table tennis, look at your family photographs? Have arm wrestles, play board games, craft, chat? If you’re in the Yorkshire area, I’d love to add to the collection of images I have. Would you like to be a part of the project?

Here are a collection of shots and ideas so far.

SarahMasonPhotography_021.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_069.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_012.jpg
SarahMasonPhoto_019.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_039.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_016.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_121.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_027.jpg
SarahMasonPhoto_001+(3).jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_005.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_009.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_083.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_040.jpg
CNV00007.JPG
download (31).jpeg
download (47).jpeg
SarahMasonPhoto_009+(2).jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_007.jpg
Yorkshire+Portrait+Photographer+Sarah+Mason+Photography (1).jpeg
SarahMasonPhotography_085.jpg

The tables themselves also have a story to tell. The grains and stains, the chips, the marker pen that doesn’t quite rub off. We swapped our kitchen table with our friends, and on there are felt tip marks from drawings and crafting projects, we don’t want to get rid of them.

These tables are where we eat together, talk together, take time to be alone. Laugh, play and plan. Would you like to be a part of it? We’d love to hear about you and your table.

Photographing Family - Ethel & Mabel

SarahMasonPhotography_005.jpg

Ethel and her sister Mabel, have such a sense of old world charm and style. I started documenting their life, (well actually at the time it was just Ethel), back in early 2015. I’d heard Ethel liked a cup of tea, and I wanted to record a Saturday morning with her at her house. If you’ve been following my new project on Instagram, I guess she was my first Tea For Two! And then, a year later, Mabel came into the world. Spending a morning with them was the first step into filmmaking for me, and the film I made still has such a special place in my heart. Roll on three years, and I went back up to document their morning together recently. I hope they’ll cherish these photos of them in their childhood home as much as I’ve loved documenting their life there. My style and edit choices might have changed a bit, but the sentiment remains the same. Here’s Ethel and Mabel, a story in mornings, so far.

It starts with Ethel. When I first arrived at her house, she took me by the hand, sat me down, and started to recount stories about her summer holiday. Her morning unfolded - reading books, dunking buttery biscuits into steaming cups of tea, all to the soundtrack of Saturday morning tunes on the record player.  

download (13).jpeg
download (3).jpeg
download (12).jpeg
download (4).jpeg
download (5).jpeg
Untitled_1995.jpg
download (10).jpeg
Untitled_1989.jpg
download (8).jpeg
download (7).jpeg

And then, along came Mabel….

IMG_2450.JPG
download (15).jpeg

And our latest shoot together…

SarahMasonPhotography_002.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_001.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_003.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_040.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_040.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_036.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_007.jpg
SarahMasonPhotography_038.jpg

This is what we love about our portrait shoots, documenting these moments in life that may feel insignificant at the time, but looking back, are so poignant.  Beauty in the small things, beauty in the everyday.

If you’d like us to document your family life, we’ve just added some new packages. If you’d like to take a look, just click on the photo link below. We’d love to tell your story.





Capturing Childhood

22405665_1712673828751761_7934001527164828087_n.jpg

When me and Suzi talk about our business together, and why we do what we do, it always comes down to how we’d like everyone to be able to capture family life now, either by a pro, or in their own photographs, as these moments we’re documenting are the ones our future families will be holding close. There’s never been a time when there’s so much emphasis on this, to celebrate lives and tell their unique stories, catching the beauty of the everyday as well as the things that make you you.

On the 30th & 31st of March, we’re running our third CAPTURING CHILDHOOD photography retreat. You can click on this link to find all about it. As family photographers, we wanted to pass on what we’ve learnt over the last 10 years to other photographers who might just be setting up their business, or to parents who’d like to be able to document their own family life.

Nestled on the edge of woodland and moor, our retreats take place in a beautiful barn just above Hebden Bridge. It’s the perfect place to relax, learn, feast, and be inspired. Over the weekend there are a number of shoots we’ll do together with different aged children, and this culminates in a family shoot on the Sunday.

Over the weekend we look at how to use different light, capturing movement and connections, editing photos, finding your style, and you’ll leave with a portfolio of images from the shoots we have.

We wanted to share some photos taken by the people who’ve been on our capturing childhood weekends, so the following photos were all taken by our retreatees.

A38I4720-1.jpg
IMG_1819.JPG
IMG_1817.JPG
IMG_1816.JPG
20180923untitled-7V7A0538.jpg
IMG_1820.JPG
20180923untitled-7V7A0705.jpg
A38I3546-1.jpg
20180923untitled-7V7A0734.jpg
A38I4582-1.jpg
IMG_2082.JPG

If you’d like to learn with us, we’d love to have you. You can find more information and book your place on the Capturing Childhood weekend here.

‘The practical exercises and shoots with children and families of all ages were essential in boosting our confidence and also learning on the go. It was incredibly helpful to look through Sarah and Suzi's work and ask questions about logistics, kit, technique and lighting - seeking out pockets of natural light has been a game changer!  However, for me, the retreat went much further than the settings of the camera. I am so grateful for the opportunity to explore my photography on a much deeper level and start to understand not only how to take pictures, but question why I am taking them and what feeling I want to evoke when other people look at them. I would recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in capturing childhood moments - either as a parent or a photographer.’ Rosie




Search stories:

 
 

Latest Instagram posts:

 

Filter stories by category: